The Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood plays gig in Northampton School

Guitarist answered questions from pupils at Malcolm Arnold Academy

The Rolling Stones‘ guitarist Ronnie Wood played an unlikely gig on Wednesday (February 20) at a school in Northampton.

Telling students that he’d rather play there than at the Brit Awards, which took place that evening, Wood spent three hours playing an acoustic set and answering questions from students at the Malcolm Arnold Academy.

Howard Parkinson, the school’s business manager, told NME that the school’s sponser, David Ross, had won a guitar lesson with Wood at a charity auction. “Instead of taking the guitar lesson himself, David Ross donated it to the school,” Parkinson says. “He mostly played two or three tracks that were old 12 bar blues numbers on his guitar. He talked quite a bit about his life being in The Stones and The Faces and basically his advice to students who really wanted to pursue a music career just to practice as much as you can, make sure you keep getting your music out there and record with your friends and find people who are like-minded.”

He adds: “When one of them asked him whether he was going to go to the Brits that night, he said he didn’t want to go to the Brits because it was really too much of a drag to get to the O2 and that he’d much rather be at school.”

Parkinson says that Wood was having such a great time, he stayed on well over his allocated time. “The students were amazed that he was so down to earth and just genuinely charming. He stayed for nearly three hours because he was having such a good time,” he says.

Earlier this month, Ronnie Wood promised that he would be twisting his bandmate’s arms into playing this years’ Glastonbury. The Stones have been strongly tipped to make their debut on the Pyramid Stage this year. When asked about it, Wood replied: “We’ve got a meeting next month and that’s going to be my first question to them. It’s something I’ve always been interested in. I’m going to twist their arms. I’ve got lots of high hopes this year, now that we’re all rehearsed – let’s get it cracking this summer!”